Sunday, January 30, 2011

Taxi Cab Confessionals

There are approximately one cajillion taxis in Dublin. For a city of about 2.5 million (which is considerably less than a cajillion) people, that's a heck of a lot of taxis. If you're in the city centre on a Friday or Saturday night you will see more taxis than people. In the olden days of three years ago you might have waited hours for a taxi to finally pick you up after a night on the lash. But nowadays you'll have drivers practically getting in an accident just to get to you first. That's what happened to me last night as I stood there and watched them battle it out for my fare. It was actually a little flattering. Everyone wanted some Kim.

I get in the taxi, clearly looking like a tourist with my Nikes and Steelers hat, and the driver immediately starts in about the sorry state of the taxi industry in Ireland (it's every man for himself out there) and the shitty government's hand in all of this. I understand he was a little flustered from the near accident he just caused, but I can't help but think he clearly wasn't hired by Irish Tourism to sell this country to foreigners. So, he goes on and on about Ireland and how it's headed down the crapper and I say, 'Yes, I know. I've lived here for two years and I'm well aware of the problems in the country.' Well, this causes him to go quiet. Yes, Mr Taxi Driver, I might be an American, but I am not a tourist that you can drive all around town before getting to my destination. I'm a local.

Once he knows I'm a local the conversation completely changes. He asks me why I'm here and I explain my husband is Irish.
"What part is he from?"
(Well, with his strong Dublin accent I knew this wasn't going to be a popular answer) "Cork".
He visibly bristled at this answer.
"Are you going to be moving back to America?"
Yes, we're planning on it.
"When? Within the year?"
Yes, he has his visa and we're going within the next 6 months.

Right, that's our emigration plans....let's move on to:

"What does your husband do?"
He works in higher education.
"What do you do?"
I also work in higher education, but I haven't been able to get a job in the two years I've been here. There's nothing out there and that's why we're going.
(He agreed with this and thought it was a good thing that we're moving. He then went on to tell me about how he's starting a course so he can get out of the taxi rat race. Every taxi driver under the age of 60 has told us he's starting a course. Lord knows where they're all going to work.)

Okey doke.....(un)employment status? Check!

"Do you have kids?"
No, no kids.
"Are you planning on starting a family?"
Why yes, Mr Taxi Driver, we are and I appreciate your concern in these matters! (Okay, I didn't say it quite like that.)

Once we established the status of my fertility we moved on to accents...

"Where do you think my accent is from?"
(This can be a touchy question in Dublin. He was clearly born and bread on the northside.)
"So, you're saying my accent is from the northside and not D4?" (Crikey, it's not like I said Ballymun!)
Well, yeah. I live on the northside (you're driving me there, remember?), so I'm pretty familiar with the accent!
"I'm from Raheny. The heart and soul of the country!" (That was added so I was sure to know that contrary to what my Cork-born husband has brainwashed me to believe, Dublin is the capitol of Ireland.)

He was pretty impressed that I could understand him. I was impressed too. I typically let Wes do all the talking when we're in a taxi because I don't have a clue what they're saying. For the record, he thinks the Donegal accent is the nicest accent in Ireland. I couldn't confirm that since I'm not sure if I've ever heard it. He threw out some Irish celebrities with the accent, but I didn't have a clue who he was talking about so he gave up.

Alas...our 20 minute trip was coming to an end....

Great, just drop me off here! Thanks, have a good night!
"No problem. Good luck making your little Corkonians!"


  1. Brilliant. Once I had a cab driver who tried to hook me up with his son, and when I told him I was married, he asked if I had a sister. Nobody has ever wished me luck in reproducing - now you have the luck of the Irish on your side.
    Also, the SJC's accent is close to Donegal, as his is a Sligo accent, but Donegal has more hints of Norn Iron in there.
    This was an excellent cab ride. I'm glad he almost caused an accident - I think it was worth it.

  2. I should have mentioned that he was probably in his early 30s which made the whole 'good luck' thing even a little more weird. Pretty sure that would never happen in America.

  3. Yay, I actually had a spare minute to post on your blog! (It's Lisa from UKY) What is it with odd conversations with taxi drivers? I usually get lectured about how the Irish built America and did I know that and did I appreciate that :D The Donegal accent would be somewhat similar to a Derry accent, though not quite as harsh. (I'm not even sure if that's the right word to use!)